Welcome to The Military Minute, a joint feature with Bailey from Becoming Bailey. This collaboration is designed specifically for military spouses, significant others, and those connected to the military way of life. Each month, we’ll share a linkup prompt and post our responses the third Thursday of the month. Today, I’m thrilled to share my answer to our July prompt:
What would you consider to be your most and least favorite parts of military life?
If there is just one thing I’ve learned in my five-plus years married to Ryan, military life is a mixed bag, and a lot of this life and lifestyle is what you choose to make of it. In the past five years, I’ve experienced the highest highs, as well as the lowest lows through this military lifestyle and, while at times I may feel otherwise, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve mentioned before that, as spouses to service members, we have the opportunity to choose wings over roots, and I think that’s one of my favorite parts of this life.
I’ve never known where I call home, per se. Do I feel at home with family in New Hampshire? Yes. Do I feel at home with family in South Africa? Yes. Do I feel at home at each duty station? Eventually, yes. Moving every three years isn’t for everyone, but for this period of our lives, I enjoy it immensely. Washington isn’t my favorite state. It’s gorgeous, and there is so much to do, but I would never have chosen to live here. It’s a bit of a blessing in disguise though because, without the military, I would never have known this corner of the U.S., and for that, I am grateful.
Another aspect I absolutely love about military life is the opportunity to grow and truly get to know who I am in all of this. I know that might sound strange, but when I look back at how clueless I was when I started this blog six years ago, I can see how far I’ve come. Honestly, I can even look back at posts from Ryan’s last deployment, and feel how I let everything happen to me. To be fair, it was an awful deployment filled with hospitalizations, accidents, and pretty much every other item on deployment bingo. However, this time, I approached deployment differently. I realized my own resilience, and without the military life, I would never have discovered my true strength.
In terms of my least favorite parts of military life, it kind of goes hand-in-hand with what I’ve mentioned before. People. They’re the best and worst parts of military life. You make friends who become family and, more often than not, you leave them. I’ve learned that the Army world, in particular, is small though, and many of the friendships we’ve cultivated have stood the test of time, and we’ve even reunited at the same posts. However, it’s still exceptionally hard to open back up each time to new people, new faces, and new potential friendships that will inevitably be separated at some point.
My most and least favorite parts of military life aren’t unusual. It’s a hard lifestyle to hack, but I’d hazard a guess that civilian life presents its own challenges, as well. While certain elements are a little more difficult, I still wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.
Now it’s your turn! We’d love for you to join in on The Military Minute. Whether you’re a new or seasoned military spouse, an active duty soldier or veteran (or heck, anything in between), The Military Minute is inclusive, and we want to hear from you. Drop your link below, and I’ll be sure to check it out!